Eve Slavich: Why I'm running for the Science Party in the NSW Senate

I am Eve Slavich and I am running for the NSW Senate for the Science Party.  I was prodded into politics by despair that those in power often seem to neither respect science nor understand the value of money spent on science and research. I believe these industries will provide us with future prosperity.

support_eve_slavich_thumb.jpg

I am so glad to be raising my son in a world of modern medicine, where many previously deadly illnesses have been eradicated through scientific breakthroughs, the lives of friends and family saved again and again where in the past we may have died.

 

I’ve spent my life around agricultural and environmental scientists making sure the growing numbers of us eat well and limit our impact on the environment- this has been done pretty poorly and is an essential area to invest in. The incredibly diverse biosphere is still a mystery to us, who knows what secrets it holds that may one day be lifesaving. I am furious cuts to science and research at state and federal levels have ravaged capacity built up over decades. Science pays itself in countless ways- for example WiFi is worth billions to the economy, and needs to be recognised not as an economic drain but an investment.

 

I love the Science party’s globally humanitarian approach to policy. Allowing more immigration to Australia is helpful for many reasons. My experience living in China and Europe and travelling widely cemented my view that people are people, and no one of us is more worthy just because of our place of birth. It is the right thing to do to allow as many as practical to share our excellent standard of living. Further, their arrival is good for our standard of living!

 

With an aging population and falling birth rate people will either need to accept much higher taxation or much lower government services – unless we allow increased immigration. Immigrants contribute to the economy and pay taxes for the services they use. My husband is a first generation migrant and we are lucky to have him. It’s important to consider our impact on the ecosystems that support us, and therefore we need to allow for higher density developments within cities and regional centres, supported by transport infrastructure and excellent urban planning. I don’t want to see bush and prime farmland carved up for low density residential development. However, a high speed rail line linking regional centres, and communications infrastructure like the NBN are needed for the future knowledge economy.

 

Education will be key to our future. Fairer and increased education funding with more for disadvantaged schools is a low hanging fruit for stimulating the economy and improving lives. I’m a public school kid and passionate that all kids deserve a great education.

 

The most pressing issue I see facing Australia is climate change. We urgently need an emissions trading scheme- only a price on Carbon demonstrably reduces emissions and stimulates the renewables industry. Whilst I don’t think the government itself should try to pick the winning technology, it is clear that the exponential pace of technological development will make some renewables like solar viable to produce lots of cheap energy. We should not shy away from research into nuclear power as it may be needed as part of the solution globally.  It is farcical that the government is cutting climate science, and embarrassing that some politicians don’t even believe climate change is happening.

As a scientist, I think my voice is a one that is needed in Australian parliament.